Kalyani, May 10: A retired professor couple from Kalyani town in Nadia has donated around 2000 books from their personal collections to Kalyani University where they taught for about three decades. Kalyani Shankar Ghatak and Keka Ghatak, both once attached to the Bengali Department, formally handed over the books to the University authorities for the students as a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore on his 161st birth anniversary.
The bouquet of donations includes an invaluable versatile collection of books of Bengali, English, Urdu, Arbi literature, articles, linguistics, and several other genres. The Professor couple, who have a personal collection of about 4000 books at their residential library in Kalyani town, would also donate the remaining books after necessary sorting and cataloging. At the same time, they would also donate some racks and shelves along with the books which will be kept at the Departmental library for use by students of Bengali literature.
“We have today handed over around fifty percent of our collection. We have a plan to donate the remaining collection also to the students”, Kalyani Shankar Ghatak said. Sources at the university said that a few weeks ago the couple expressed their wish to donate the books to the head of the Bengali department Prabir Pramanik and senior professor Sukhen Biswas. The duo accordingly talked to the Vice-Chancellor for his formal nod and to materialize the wish of the elderly professor couple.
Prabir Pramanik said, “Their wish came to us as a unique gesture. It shows how the two teachers even after years of their retirement remained so much concerned for benefit of the students”.
Speaking to The NfN, Kalyani Shankar Ghatak said, “We wanted proper use of the books and preservation at the same time. We want the books to be utilized by the students, teachers, and researchers. We have been living with lessons of Rabindranath Tagore…so we thought no other day than his birthday would be a better day to hand over the books to the university”.
Kalyani Shankar Ghatak, taught at the department for 28 years before he retired in 2008. His wife, Keka Ghatak, taught for 32 years before she retired in 2016.
“These books were our precious collections of life. We lived with these books. But since we are growing old, we decided to ensure its proper use and care. The Kalyani University’s Bengali department, where we worked became our natural choice. So it will be our pleasure to see that students are benefitted from these books…We want to remain alive in these books”, said Keka Ghatak.
An official of the Bengali department said that the first lot of the books has been brought to the departmental library on Monday. “Cataloguing of the books has been done and these will be now issued to interested students for their use. The remaining books will be brought gradually”, the official said.
Welcoming the gesture of the elderly retired professor couple Vice-Chancellor Manas Kumar Sannyal said, “We are grateful to these two retired teachers for their kind initiative. More such gestures from teachers and students-friendly individuals can become beneficial for the students”.
A student of the Bengali department said, “Prudent men share knowledge. A few years ago I read a news report about former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s donation of 3500 books from his personal collections to his alma mater Punjab University. Today I found a similarity and like our former Prime Minister respect for these two teachers increased manifold”.